No Shahid Kapoor, I’m not responsible for fixing my husband

By Aliya Zuberi

KARACHI: There is this long running desi myth that marriage is the solution to all problems. And that women are responsible for fixing their (man-child) husbands and their bad behaviour. To make matters worse, these myths are endorsed by the likes of Shahid Kapoor who openly proclaim that the purpose of marriage is for women to ‘fix’ men who are a ‘mess’ and spend the rest of their lives turning these men into decent human beings. But I hate to break it to Kapoor, women are not rehabilitation centers for badly behaved men.

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In a recent interview with Film Companion, the Kabir Singh star shed light on what he thought marriage was all about. “This entire marriage thing is about one thing: The guy was a mess and the woman came in to fix him. So, the rest of his life is going to be a journey of him getting fixed and becoming a decent person. That’s pretty much what life is about.” But the real question is why? Why is it the responsibility of a wife to change her husband’s ways? Why are men, who are not “decent” people even getting married in the first place?

The reason why Kapoor’s statement is inherently problematic is because women are often handed men with deep rooted issues and much to the woman’s surprise, they are told a good wife will mend her husband’s ways. A wife with good morals and values will be able to convince her alcoholic husband to give up drinking. A loving, beautiful wife will be able to keep her womanizing husband grounded at home. If that doesn’t work, a woman is encouraged to bring a baby into the mess for the husband to understand responsibility. And at the end of the day, when the husband refuses to change and when the wife is exhausted for the emotional turmoil and takes a step away, the fault lies with the woman for not doing her job right.

Desi societies and men like Shahid Kapoor have taken what is meant to be a beautiful union of marriage and turned it into a joke. Women, individuals with actual personalities and goals, get married in hopes of finding a partner who will be a companion through thick and thin. With whom, together, they will grow. Who will love and support her. Women, do not get married to do the job of a parent. To teach an adult man right from wrong. That, too, in a desi society where wives are often treated terribly. Whose in laws keep them at arm’s length and husbands believe they have an overriding dominance over? Will men like Shahid Kapoor really allow their wives to have an upper hand in marriage and will they listen to them when they say change your ways? If anything we have learnt from women centric groups, it is that majority of the men do not change and women live a life full of regret.

Shahid Kapoor and his wife have a whooping 14 year age gap. Mira had only just begun her adult life when she got married to Kapoor who was almost past the prime of his. As per Kapoor, he expected his wife to dedicate what is meant to be the best years of her life in fixing a problem that shouldn’t have been hers to begin with? 

Men need to understand the role of a wife and sanctity of marriage. They can’t do the bare minimum and call it a day whilst having high expectations from their wives. That is not the key to a successful marriage!

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